Press Release

Press Conference on Future ESA Space Programme

By SpaceRef Editor
January 5, 2007
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Press Conference on Future ESA Space Programme

The European Space Agency’s [ESA] Aurora Programme, in which the UK is a major player, provides a framework for Europe’s long-term exploration of the solar system that encapsulates both societal and global aspects as well as science and technology.

Space exploration priorities will be developed in response to the requirements of four distinct stakeholder groups: scientific, industrial, political and societal.

This press conference will present the outcomes of the first of a series of consultations conducted with key stakeholders during a workshop held in Edinburgh on the 8/9th January 2007. In particular the European priorities and drivers will be presented by leading figures of the scientific, political, industrial, and societal stakeholder groups participating in the workshop. The outcomes of this first workshop, and that of future workshops, will contribute to defining Europe’s long-term strategy for space exploration and set the scene for decisions to be taken at the forthcoming ESA Council at Ministerial level in 2008.

The UK’s involvement in this emerging programme, its current status within ESA’s Aurora programme of planetary exploration, prospective Lunar Robotic Missions and how these and Europe’s aspirations align with NASA’s Global Exploration Strategy and other international partners will be described.

Speakers include:

  • Manuel Valls, Head of Policy and Plans, ESA Directorate of Human Spaceflight,
  • Microgravity and Exploration
  • Professor John Zarnecki, Open University and PPARC Council
  • Tim Radford
  • Dr. David Parker, BNSC/PPARC Director of Space Science


All attendees must register in advance with Jill Little – PPARC Press Office Email Tel 01793 442123

For press queries, contact Gill Ormrod, Email Tel 01793 442012. Mobile: 0781 8013509.

The Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) is the UK’s strategic science investment agency. It funds research, education and public understanding in four broad areas of science – particle physics, astronomy, cosmology and space science. PPARC is government funded and provides research grants and studentships to scientists in British universities, gives researchers access to world-class facilities and funds the UK membership of international bodies such as the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, CERN, the European Space Agency and the European Southern Observatory. It also contributes money for the UK telescopes overseas on La Palma, Hawaii, Australia and in Chile, the UK Astronomy Technology Centre at the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh and the MERLIN/VLBI National Facility.

Wednesday 10th January 2007

Start – 11.30 am [Registration from: 11.00]

Franklin Theatre Institute of Physics 76 Portland Place

London W1B 1NT United Kingdom

SpaceRef staff editor.